not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Misplaced Surfboards, Sinhalese and Sunsets in Sri Lanka.

What a beautiful and blessed journey that it has been, and its only just begun. As giddy as I was sitting in the Newark Airport at my gate, I still felt a bit uneasy in my heart and the question "What the frigging hell are you doing cailin?!?" kept popping into my head. I was kicking myself for not brushing up on some French before my flight to Paris and I was feeling pretty vulnerable as I stepped onto the plane. And then, I met Nardin. He was intrigued by my guitar and my "beautiful, soulful voice". We quickly became friends and I practiced some French on my new French friend. Not only did I have someone making me laugh and smile and feel less alone, but the perks of being friends with a First Class attendant are endless. Wine, champagne, cheese and wine, ice cream sundaes (yep, a proper ice cream Sunday with hot fudge and walnuts and all!!), delicious mint tea and proper cappuccinos out of real glasses, none of that styrofoam nonsense. Add onto that the great perks of international flights...they actually feed you food and give you free movies!! I watched TED and the latest Batman. I had the vegetarian curry option for dinner and had a hot croissant and fresh fruit for breakfast. I said goodbye to my friend Nardin, vowing to play a round of tennis with him in Paris some day, and then attempted to navigate the airport in Paris, which was confusing and had me a tad bit flustered for a bit. I really could have used a bit more French in my vocab, and it would have helped if there were people who worked the airport actually sitting at the desk, but there was no one to be found. I eventually figured out my way after covering most of the airport on foot, and was grateful that my layover was 4 hours and not 40minutes. I felt tired and sore and sluggish and full....and I woulda killed for a mini vinyasa/crossfit/yin session. Unfortunately everyone in my terminal was really uptight and I was already getting funny looks for my basic stretching (pam Tracey style haha) so I passed on the travel wodding.

I'm now on my 10 hour flight from Paris to Colombo, Sri Lanka. I have a window seat in the row with only two seats (hooray!) and I'm seated next to IndhuMahti, a lovely Sri Lankan woman with whom I've been bartering. I traded her my lemon dessert for her wedge of cheese, and she traded her complimentary glass of wine for some listening time on my iPod, a fair trade. I've eaten again...another epic vegetarian platter, washed down with some hot tea. And then some more tea. And then a glass of wine. Hey - I'm on VACATION! Ha.


Any uneasiness or doubt that I had about this trip truly vanished about a half hour into this flight. When I'm traveling I am at my finest. I feel home. Finally in a good place I figured it was time to write my first blog. And then I started to cry...

I just want for my dad to know how much fun I'm going to have, and before any of you out there who read the blog, it was my dad who demanded the stories- and *detailed stories...he wanted to feel it, taste it, and experience it through my words. Just as I got a bit emotional Chris and Thomas' song " Broken Chair" came on....only to be followed by Ben Harpers "Walk Away"--- goddamn you iPod!!! I have had tears rolling down my face ever since. It's going to be a hell of an adventure. Can't wait to share it with all of you.

Chris and Thomas : Broken Chair

You grieve, you love, you lose
You take, you break, you choose
And as you laugh and cry
You do your best and try

And as the days go by
It makes you wonder why
You try so hard, so hard
To mend what's bound to fall apart

Ooooh, maybe it's time to let it go
Ooooh, , maybe it's time for taking it slow
Ooooh, maybe it's time time time
For anything at all
Time time time to let it all fall as it may

And as the path goes on
You deal with what comes along
Some friends they come and stay
Some leave and go their way

Ooooh, maybe it's time to let it go
Ooooh, , maybe it's time for taking it slow
Ooooh, maybe it's time time time
For anything at all
Time time time to let it all fall where it may

Written somewhere over the land and seas between Paris and Sri Lanka...
12:49pm NYC - 11:19pm Colombo - 6:49pm Paris Fri Dec 7th


Today is Sunday December 9th, 7:30am where I am in Galle. Back home it's just about 9pm on Saturday night. My 10 hour flight from Paris to Colombo was effortless, I breezed through immigration, and all seemed to be moving along flawlessly. Alas, it's never an international trip without some drama... After watching the baggage carousel go around a thousand times, and after asking countless porters for help (here's the thing about Asia, no one wants to disappoint so they always say "yes", even if the answer is a definite "no". So despite the reassurance from all of the airport workers that my 9' longboard bag was coming, eventually I knew that it was not. I made my way to Baggage Services and waited in a loooong line to file my complaint. Tears were just a moment away from spilling over. I closed my eyes and took a few deeps breaths. My phones service I'd had suspended, and I didn't yet have a local SIM card for my I couldn't text my Mom, I couldn't call Gilly and alert her of my delay ,and I couldn't contact my driver...who undoubtedly was standing outside the airport several hours longer than he'd expected. As everything in Asia, filing my complaint took a very long time. But eventually I's only a board, hopefully it will make its way to me and if it doesn't then what'll tears do to fix my situation? Nothing. The Sri Lankan guy next to me, who lives in Wisconsin in the US helped me to speed the process along and even gave me his contact information in case I needed help, and he assured me that thought lost baggage happens often in this country, it always makes its way back to you in just a few days. *sighofrelief*

My cab driver was "Rookie", and we got along like two peas in a pod. By the end of my 3hr ride to Galle I already was full of Sinhalese phrases and vocab. I was especially grateful for the local slang that he taught me, which always brings a smile to the locals faces. As soon as I got to Gillys place I crashed....hard. I slept like a rock for 3 hours before Gilly woke me and alerted me that it was time to head to the beach. We headed to a local ExPat hangout filled with Brits, Scots, and Germans. We had a swim in the beautiful refreshing water, sipped on some fresh lime juice and soaked up the sun. I met a ton of Gillys friends and closed my eyes and drifted to sleep a few times. I was a lovely evening, but im definitely looking forward to some more authentic sri lankan experiences in the days to come. We watched the sunset and then headed home to Gil's for some chicken curry and fresh local bread. It was early to bed and early to rise for me. I woke once in the night due to the humid heavy air in my room, but I turned up the fan and went back to sleep. With me I have a sarong that I'd bought for my dad in Indonesia. He slept on it nearly every night until he passed, and I sleep with it now. As far as I'm concerned its the only "valuable" thing that I've brought with me this trip, and when I was falling to sleep last night I was super grateful that I'd brought it a long....there's definitely a huge bit of comfort and home that it offers me.

Not sure what's in store for today. Just as with any trip, I hope to fall into a steady routine. Wake, yoga, meditation, tea, breakfast, stroll and wifi, nap, authentic lunch in town, and then a mellow night. I try to eat at the same local spot day after helps me to figure out the language faster, offers up a deeper insight into the culture as you undoubtedly make friends with the owners, and the routine gives me a sense of "home" while in a place that is very far from it. I am hoping to find a local Ayurvedic place in town so I can add a daily Ayurvedic steam bath to my routine, and once my boards get here I hope to be surfing each day as well. Missing you Mom, and all you crazy crossfitters (home WODs will be added to the mix once I settle in), and missing my yoga community. Love to you all. "AAYU-BOWAN" (goodbye in Sinhalese).

Sent from my iPad

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